Lifestyle Factors Influencing Purchase Behavior Of Youth In India

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ABSTRACT

Lifestyle is an approach centered on way one leads life. Lifestyle is the way in which the people live, spend their time and money. Lifestyle of an individual is his way of expressing his feelings, attitudes, interests and opinions. The Lifestyle of individuals has always been of great interest to marketers. They deal with everyday behaviorally oriented facets of people as well as their feelings, attitudes, interests and opinion. A lifestyle marketing perspective recognizes that people sort themselves into groups on the basis of the things they like to do, how they like to spend their leisure time and how they choose to spend their disposable income. There is transition of positioning the products from functional attributes to featuring the product as representing a lifestyle. The research study aims to study the various lifestyle factors influencing purchasebehaviour and findings from this study will provide useful insights to enable marketers to understand lifestyle segments of youth in India.

Introduction to Lifestyle

Lifestyle is. the interests, opinions, behaviours, and. behavioural orientations of an individual, group or culture. The term “Lifestyle” was first introduced in 1929 by Austrian psychologist Alfred Adler in his book “The Case of Miss R”. Alfred explained the meaning of lifestyle as “a person’s basic character as established early in childhood”. The broader sense of lifestyle. as a “way or style. of living” has been documented. since 1961.The first to introduce the concept of lifestyle patterns and the potential of its relationship with marketing, was Lazer (1963) as credited by Plummer (1974). Lazer defines lifestyle “…a systems concept. It refers to the distinctive mode of living, in its aggregative or broadest sense….it embodies the patters that develop and emerge from the dynamics of living in a society.” The usage of the term ‘lifestyle’ has gained momentum since 1963 and various methods of determining lifestyle patterns and its relationship to consumer behavior. It has been used and developed in multiple facets of consumer behavior. The lifestyle concepts were related to interest of people have, how they spend their time and resources, and views they hold about themselves and other people (Kucukemiroglu, 1999).

Invariably it is necessary for the marketers to understand consumer lifestyle. With the frequent change and adoption of different lifestyles marketers continue to understand these changes to get closer to consumer insights. Lifestyle trends and pattern in India were way different when compared to pre and post liberalization. Indian consumers today have numerous choices, alternatives and are well informed and knowledgeable. Marketers are catering to their demands and today consumer is controlling market trends. Post liberalization, the high rate of industrialization, growth of service sector and better employment opportunities have increased the consumer’s disposable income, developed new lifestyles. Customers are accepting the global brands, trends and adopting global lifestyle gradually. There has been growing demand for multinational products/brands in all the categories of products in the last two decades.

Lifestyle in India is being increasingly used in various business sectors such as professional services, consultations, Retail, Apparels, FMCG, Credit card Users etc., India is fasting growing economies in Asia. In A brief report on Lifestyle Products in India, (2013), the Indian consumer today is not price sensitive and prefers a life full of luxury and comfort. The demand for luxury products is expanding its ambit from conspicuous-consumption consumers of the early years to the truly affluent households that wish to stand apart from the crowd. The report “A brief report on Lifestyle Products in India” (2013) indicates that India’s consumer class to grow nearly twenty-fold (from 50 million at present) to 583 million by 2025, with more than 23 million people likely to be listed among world’s wealthiest citizens. The increase in young working population especially the women and growing opportunities in service sector will be the growth drivers for luxury products. 60 percent of India’s population is below 30 years and the demand for lifestyle products among the youth will be growing rapidly.

Problem Statement

The lifestyles of the people who comprise each segment are an important consideration. The extent of their purchasing power and their decision making process in allocating their discretionary income are of paramount concern. Individuals associate themselves to different lifestyles to express themselves or their personality. It is important to study the lifestyle of Indian youth and how marketers can use lifestyle segmentation to strategies to reach out the consumer at the primitive level. Therefore, this study to understand lifestyles factors that influence the purchase decision and buying behavior of Indian youth.

Objective of the Study: To investigate the relationship of lifestyle and purchase decision of youth in India.

Review of Literature

Lazer (1963) was the first to introduce the concept of lifestyle patterns and the potential of its relationship with marketing. The same is been credited by Plummer (1974). Lazer defines lifestyle “…a systems concept. It refers to the distinctive mode of living, in its aggregative or broadest sense….it embodies the patters that develop and emerge from the dynamics of living in a society.” Joseph T. Plummer defines (Plummer J. , 1974) as a single system, Lifestyle can be differentiated into two concepts, one being the model of lifestyle and other being market segmentation, and that in order to understand lifestyle segmentation, every element in the system under investigation, such as activities, interests, opinions and demographic variables, can be used to understand the overall market. Harold W. Berkman and Christopher Gilson define lifestyle as “unified” patterns of behavior that determine and are determined by consumption. They referred the term “unified pattern of behavior” as behavior in broad sense.

The market segmentation based on Psychographics it’s a behavioral approach to market segmentation based on an analysis of what people activities, their buying behaviors, and the media exposure; also how they feel about life, based on attitudes, opinions, interests, and values. The psychographics concepts started with the classic study of buyers’ personality traits by Koponen (1960), which lead to several research attempting to correlate consumer behavior with standardized personality inventories (Wells, 1975).

Plummer, (1974) credits Lazer (1963) as first to introduce the concept of lifestyle pattern. Since 1963, methods of, measuring lifestyle pattern and their relationship to consumer behavior has been developed and refined. Lifestyle as used in lifestyle segmentation research measures people’s activities in terms of (1) how they spend their time; (2) their interests, what they place importance on in their immediate surroundings; (3) their opinion in terms of their view of themselves and the world around them; and (4) some basic characteristics such as their stage in life cycle, income, education, and where they live. The term lifestyle is used in literature in three different spellings (Veal, 1993) as mentioned in the research paper by A.J.Veal, it is presented as two separate works: life style, as a hyphenated word: life-style, and as one work: lifestyle. As per the Oxford English Dictionary the earliest use of the term ‘life-style’ was by Alfred Adler, the psychologist, who used it in the year 1929 to ‘denote a person’s basic character as established early in the childhood which governs his reactions and behaviour’.

Methodology of study

The study is descriptive in nature and the data is collected in Bengaluru. Bengaluru is the most heterogenic and cosmopolitan mix of people. The youth in Bengaluru represent people from all parts of the country and are a clear mix of people. Youth are defined as those aged 15-29 in the national youth policy 2014. This age of people constitutes 27.5% of India population. In 2011 census counted 563 million young people from 10 to 35yrs, according to the 12th five-year plan Vol II (2013). This study included Shopping Goods. All the products that consumers desire to compare the product features, price, brand and information about the product are included in shopping goods. In this study the shopping goods were categorized as electronic products, home décor, apparel, personal / beauty care, wellness, and healthcare products.

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This research study adopted Survey Method for data collection. Sample collection technique adopted is multistage random sampling technique from 100 respondents. A structured and pre-tested questionnaire was adopted as tool of data collection. All the questions were closed ended and five point Likert scale was used to measure the degree of agreement (Strongly Agree, Agree, Neutral, Disagree, Strongly Disagree). The data collected and was tabulated for analysis. The statistical tools used for analyzing the data are Percentage analysis, correlation and factor analysis. This study includes both Primary and secondary data.The study included shopping goods (as defined in the conceptual definition). The questionnaire constituted of four sections, Part A consisted of questions based on demographic and personal data of respondents, Part B constituted the buying behavior for shopping goods, Part C constituted the questions related to youth lifestyle and last Part D consisted of statements related to lifestyle. The reliability of the scales was tested by calculating their coefficient alphas (Cronbach’s alphas) to determine the degree of internal consistency between the multiple measurements.The Cronbach alpha calculated for the study is was found to be 0.833 indicating reliability value. The finding obtained from the analysis is used to represent a conceptual model wherein the relationship among the variables is established.

Limitations and Scope of Study

The study was conducted in Bengaluru, hence cannot be generalized to other territories. The limitations of data collection for field survey is applicable to this study. The various data collected is subjected to the respondent biasness. The respondents included students, working professionals and housewife. A further detailed classification can be included for further studies. Considering the time and cost factor the study included only few shopping goods only. There is also a wide scope for conducting further research in the display of brands of shopping goods in rural and urban areas. The study was also limited to shopping goods, there is further scope of conducting similar studies for other types of products.

Data Analysis and Findings

To examine the appropriateness of factor analysis KMO measure of sampling adequacy is an indicator. The values between 0.5 and 1.0 indicate that factor analysis is appropriate. The values below 0.5 indicate that factor analysis would not be meaningful. It is clearly seen that Kaiser – Meyer – Olkin measure of sampling adequacy index is 0.723. And hence factor analysis is appropriate for the data collected for the study.

To study the factors influencing the lifestyle of youth factor analysis was used to identify the factors. With the Eigen value greater than one though Varimax rotation the principal component method of factor analysis was used. The result was obtained through rotated component matrix.

The total of 5 independent groups were extracted accounting to total of 76.93% of variations in the 27 lifestyle variables. The six factors constitute of 22.78%, 18.16%, 13.49%, 12.39% and 10.12% respectively.

Factor – I: It is inferred that out of 27 lifestyle variables, 7 variables have a relatively high tightly grouped factor loadings on Factor I and this factor is termed as “Brand Consciousness”. Factor II is formed with six variables is termed as “ProductCompetency Consciousness”. Factor III also includes six variables and is termed as “Product Facade Consciousness”. Factor IV is formed with three variables and is termed as “Price Consciousness”. Factor V is formed with five variables and is named as “Product Information Consciousness”.

Results and Discussions

The youth lifestyle and their buying behavior has been of great interest to the marketers to know and understand their consumers better and to get into their insight. The aim is always to build relationship to get closer to the consumers to understand them better and to influence their purchase decision. The way the product is placed and displayed plays an important role in decision making.

The changing consumer lifestyle and its influence on buying behavior, makes it important to marketers to understand these changes. Consumers exhibit their lifestyle by using the brands there are loyal. Building brand image would enable the marketers to want the consumer to associate their lifestyle to their brands. Consumer use brand image as a tool to display their lifestyle.

Price has been a crucial element when it is referred with purchase of shopping goods. Youth are exhibiting lifestyle of price consciousness. The demographic variables and lifestyle and their relationship enables the marketers to develop lifestyle products. Price being one of the 4Ps need to the positioned in the minds of consumers to enhance their lifestyle. Discount and offers attracts the youth and is one of the tool of promotion. The deep relationship between demographics and lifestyle variables helps the marketers to create apt consumer profile. All the other marketing strategies can be aligned to the consumer profile for effective targeting and positioning.

The consumers today are more curious to know about the product, with the help of internet huge data is available. It becomes important to the marketers to provide relevant information to the consumers to assist them to take decisions in their favor. The information gathering is part of the youth lifestyle to be updated and modernized. Thus it is important to understand that the factors influencing the lifestyle are relevant and has an influence on the purchase decisions.

Conclusion

Brand and product appearance has become part of the lifestyle of youth in India. It has become evident from the study that consumers are looking for the products that reflect their lifestyle. According to the study it can be concluded that consumer give importance to brand, product components, product price and product competency. The consumers are keen and take interest in gathering the information about the products that reflects their lifestyle. Lifestyle has become a means to express oneself.

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